Chapter 629 - Fang Jingjing, Thirteen Years Old
An hour later, Tianming was standing in front of Yi Xingyin.
"Oh, it's you," Yi Xingyin said.
"Palace Lord, do you know me?" Tianming asked curiously.
"You are famous, you know. I heard Ouyang and Granny Gou praise you before." Naturally, he was referring to Ouyang Jianwang and the palace lord of Sourceglow Hall, Gou Yuqiu. "Your registration emblem, please."
Tianming handed it over. Yi Xingyin pressed the Astral Formation into Tianming's body. It was a rather mystical power that formed a thin layer on his skin, making it glow slightly like starlight.
"Now go in," he said.
"Yes, Palace Lord."
Normally, his spatial ring would have to be checked, but Yi Xingyin simply waved him through. Tianming smiled and stepped into the Deepstar Formation.
"Why do I have the feeling that the seniors that aren’t from the three great houses treat me rather well?" Ouyang Jianwang, Gou Yuqiu, and Yi Xingyin seemed rather amicable toward him. One of them was a tribulation elder, while the other two were palace lords. Not to mention, Ouyang Jianwang was even the protector of the Heaven Cauldron.
He didn't overthink it and passed through the Deepstar Formation. Feeling a strong breeze, he was blown up into the skies. When he reached the ground, he was deep in the battlefield. Looking up, he saw a sky full of stars. The ground beneath him was gray with gravel, and the flowing water was black. He saw tall mountains in the distance; the battlefield wasn’t just a flat plain. Instead, there were all kinds of terrain, with high mountains, deep oceans, ravines, and valleys all over the place. There were even many black, towering trees thrusting out of the ground like demanding claws. He even heard the cries of countless wildbeasts.
"It’s said that the area within the Deepstar Formation used to be called the Myriadbeast Abyss, due to the fact that there were a hundred thousand demon beasts, many of them empyrean or even tribulation demon beasts." A.d.u.l.t tribulation demon beasts could be compared to samsarans. Beasts of all kinds had prepared a 'grand welcome' for the disciples of the Archaion Sect. They seemed particularly agitated, possibly thanks to the Deepstar Formation.
"Let's start hunting!"
Tianming had Meow Meow and Ying Huo come out of his lifebound space. It wasn't appropriate for Lan Huang to come out, as he wanted to maintain a low profile and if Lan Huang showed up, it would make Tianming a very large target.
"With Meow Meow's speed, I’m practically undefeatable. Even though my power and level is among the lower end of the Earth Branch, I can at least choose to run from the people I don't want to engage!"
Meow Meow's evolution was just the thing Tianming needed now. He could easily ride it after it turned into a Regal Chaosfiend.
Ying Huo lay flat on Meow Meow's back, looking really impressive with its Skypiercing Diablos Feathers. "Onwards!"
"Chicken Bro, you’d better hold on tight," Meow Meow said mischievously.
With a spark of lightning, Meow Meow charged at breakneck speed.
"Aaaaaah!" Ying Huo had overestimated its abilities. It flailed around nonstop during the ride. "Wait! My hairstyle!"
Two hours later, Tianming could see with this third eye that someone was hiding in the fog far ahead. Even though he couldn’t pinpoint his opponent's location, like he could in the illusory battlefield, it at least enhanced his eyesight a lot.
"Time to break our fast."
At the end of the day, the Deepstar Battle was basically a battle royale. Tianming had decided that he would fight anyone he came across, and run if it was someone he couldn't defeat.
Almost instantly, he appeared in front of that person. Taking a closer look, he saw that it was actually a teenage girl. She wore a short green skirt that revealed her fair thighs and sported a beautiful head of short hair.
"Forget it," Tianming said and immediately turned tail. That girl was far too young for him to be able to fight her.
"Aren't you Li Tianming?!" the girl suddenly said as she walked out from the shadows.
"You know me too?" Tianming felt that he was famous now.
"I don't just know you. I’ll be your nightmare," she said with a cold smile. It seemed that she wasn’t a soft, dainty girl like he had initially thought for her to have such a sinister expression.
"Who are you?"
"I’m Fang Xingque's cousin, Fang Jingjing," she said as she approached. "I won't kill you. I’ll capture you alive for my cousin. It will be of huge contribution."
"Fang Xingque's cousin, eh? So Fang Xingying is your elder brother, right?"
"That piece of trash? There's no way. My father is one of the nine great divine marshals, Fang Yuming!"
So the sect master of the Heaven Branch, Fang Taiqing, had quite a few siblings, among them Fang Xingying's father, who was probably the least impressive of the bunch. The nine great divine marshals were people who held the highest position in the Archaion Army. They probably had similar authority to the lord of Deepstar Hall, if not more, given that they had a writ to control the troops. It was no surprise that Fang Jingjing was so arrogant.
"You mean to say you won't let me leave?" Tianming asked.
"You can't leave. You humiliated my cousin, so all you can do is die right here."
"You’re only fifteen! How could you be so savage?"
"I'm thirteen!" she proudly said.
A thirteen-year-old who was an empyrean saint and a disciple of the Earth Branch? She would definitely become a disciple of the Heaven Branch and a samsaran in a few short years. There was no doubt that she was among the most talented in the entire divine realm.
"You're already thirteen and nobody’s taught you humility yet? Arrogance is the downfall of many, you know."
"Arrogance? Killing you doesn't even come close."
"Fine. Even though bullying a little girl like you is a little embarrassing, you need to be taught a lesson," Tianming said.
Fang Jingjing merely smiled. In the next instant, she drew her weapon and thrust it toward Tianming's eyes while summoning her lifebound beast at the same time. It was a green phoenix, but it wasn't as large as Meow Meow's current form and only had two hundred and fifty stars. That was already rather impressive, given that she was a seventh-level empyrean saint. That star count was pretty high for the Earth Branch, where no lifebound beast had more than three hundred stars.
Her lifebound beast was called an eightwing greengod phoenix. Its eight green, flaming wings sent storms all across the place and threatened to cause lots of destruction. Had Ying Huo and the rest not evolved, it would be really hard to deal with an opponent with three times their star count. However, Ying Huo had nearly double its star count now. No other beast could match its four hundred and eighteen stars in the entire Deepstar Battle.
"I'll take it!" Ying Huo said.
"Be careful. A seventh-level empyrean saint is in the third phase. Their lifebound beasts will awaken their own saint springs and have a boundless amount of saint ki. They might even be more powerful than their beastmaster!"
The saint ki of a lifebound beast was mainly used to execute abilities. The larger the saint spring, the more powerful a beast's abilities would be.
There were three phases of the Empyrean Saint stage. In the first phase, their lifespan would reach five hundred years. During the second phase, they would develop empyrean gold bodies. During the third phase, their lifebound beasts would awaken their saint springs, not to mention the physical enhancement they got at the second and third phases. Beastmasters, on the other hand, only got an empyrean gold body at the second phase, and had to use a body-refining technique to barely achieve parity with their lifebound beasts. The gap would only be widened further at the seventh level.
When the phoenix used its ability, Greenfire Bladeriver, Tianming felt how impressive it was. It was in a wholly different league than Xuanyuan Yufeng's three lifebound beasts, thanks to the lifebound beast’s saint spring.
With a loud rumble, green flames and winds formed a river of blades and came flowing toward him. Fang Jingjing's sword went with the flow of the river and moved even more ferociously. "A weakling like you really shouldn't overestimate yourself."
The way she smiled, she didn't look like a thirteen-year-old girl at all. At that moment, the Regal Chaosfiend appeared before her, sending countless bolts of black lightning blasting out as it used Misty Hellthunder. The lightning bolts converged into a wave and amplified each others' power, giving it a far greater boost than any beast saint spring ever could. Not to mention, Meow Meow's star count far exceeded the phoenix's.
The attack came crashing down with a loud rumble, completely swallowing up the Greenfire Bladeriver and almost instantly crashing into the phoenix. If Meow Meow was just a normal cat, the phoenix would be no different than a little sparrow. Meow Meow bit down on the phoenix with its Myriadfiend Venomfangs and caused it to shriek. Even though it attempted to retaliate with its own ability after the fangs punctured its body, it wasn't able to do anything against the Ninefold Chaos Thunderscape. It was completely dominated, to the point that even Tianming was shocked.
"Hell, I didn't think it'd grow so much stronger after this evolution!"
By then, Ying Huo was engaging Fang Jingjing. Her tribulation artifact had an impressive two tribulation patterns, but she wasn't able to pierce Ying Huo's feathers at all. "Little beauty, are you trying to help me scratch an itch?"
"You're asking to be killed!" she snapped.
Ying Huo's body shook and countless feathers shot out as it used Skyscorch Featherblast, forcing her to back off. Despite her efforts to knock the feathers away, she got struck thrice. One of her thighs got hit and was bleeding profusely, and her face was also grazed.
"Aaaagh!" she cried in pain.
"Don't worry. A gentlechicken like me treats ladies nicely!" Ying Huo retracted its feathers and used Infernal Haze. Even though it was only using Shenxiao Sword Art, it had more than five thousand strands of Invincible Sword Ki infused within. Coupled with its Skypiercing Diablos Feathers, its thrust could even pierce her head, much to her terror.
The horror of Ying Huo's star count had only just dawned on her. "More than four hundred...."
Ying Huo's thrust caused her Astral Formation to activate to protect her. It even extended to cover the phoenix that was in Meow Meow's mouth and pulled it into her lifebound space. However, it was already close to dying.
Fang Jingjing stood on the spot and watched Tianming like a fool. She knew that he had three lifebound beasts, but he only needed two to deal with her. Her worldview came crashing down as she shook from the frustration of Ying Huo's star count. Perhaps nobody in the Heaven Branch had a beast that powerful.
"I... I...." She was about to cry from the humiliating battle.
"You were so arrogant I thought you’d be powerful. Guess I was wrong," Tianming mocked.
"You! You deserve to die!"
"Shut up. If it weren’t for the Astral Formation, I would've pulled your tongue out."
She grit her teeth and watched as Tianming casually left, unable to do anything about it. What Tianming didn't know was that his lifebound beasts' star counts had caused a huge commotion outside the Deepstar Formation.